Monday, April 12, 2010

Luck v. Smarts (or just hard work?)

As I've gotten older, I've realized that people who are successful (say, authors who write full time and live fairly comfortably) may have been equally lucky as talented.
You hear all the time about people who happened to meet the perfect agent, or the market was looking for their exact kind of story/genre, you know, the classic they were "in the right place at the right time."

Add to all this that many people believe you create your own fate through loads of hard work, (which I admit, I believe at least half the time) and you have a fantastic mix of destiny, karma, ability and chance. Who I'm pretty sure were the original members of Destiny's Child.

What do you think about luck v. talent?


Joanne Angelina said...

I think its a bit of both..sometimes when that person has that stamina and determination, there's this great feeling somewhere that that sort of vibe just arrives with the arrival of a good agent, etc
Anywho, have a great week and take care, great blog!

boomerang man said...

When I was a younger fella, I would have said talent. Now that I'm an older fella with no notable success in any particular field, I am going with luck.

I think I've known too many extraordinary musicians who never seemed to find the right market or right opportunity and it passed them by. Too many manuscripts get left unread on some hacks desk.

You need talent and you need determination, but I am convinced you also have to be in the right place at the right time with the right person.

Miley Cyrus has enough talent that she hasn't utterly failed at what she is doing, but she does not have enough talent to have gotten where she is without circumstances to assist her.

My friend Nathan has enough talent that he should own his own island by now, but he was not sired by Billy Ray Cyrus and has thus not attained that same level of success.

Such is life.

amy said...

@Joanne-- I agree that it's a bit of both.

@boomerrang man-- Hahaha! We're working on the Nathan-owns-his-own-island-by-forty master plan, don't worry. Perhaps we can communicate through smoke signals with you and your brood on your island?

"Notable success" is tricky.
I've had to evaluate my goals as a writer: If I never get published, is that OK? Would it still have been worth it to write? I think yes.

nathan said...

I was just reading the Wikipedia page dedicated to John Tesh, and after realizing how much money he has, I feel like I can corroborate Andrew's status that a lot of it is about who you know, and talent really has very little to do with it.

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